Finance Minister Rishi Sunak said the government’s support programmes were working but job losses were inevitable.
“I’ve always been clear that we can’t protect every job, but ... we have a clear plan to protect, support, and create jobs to ensure nobody is left without hope,” he said. A string of companies plan layoffs, ranging from British Airways and London’s Evening Standard newspaper to retailers WH Smith and Selfridges.
rate unexpectedly held at 3.9 per cent. But that reflected more people who had given up looking for work and therefore were not considered unemployed, and 300,000 people who said they were working but getting no pay, the Office for National Statistics said.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected the unemployment
rate to rise to 4.2 per cent. Last week, the Bank of England forecast the jobless rate would hit 7.5 per cent at the end of this year.
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